Medically Reviewed on 3/17/2023

Generic Name: norethindrone

Brand Names: Camila, Errin, Heather, Jencycla, Nor QD, Nora-BE, Ortho Micronor, Incassia

Drug Class: Progestins, Contraceptives, Vaginal, Contraceptives, Oral

What is the norethindrone birth control pill, and what is it used for?

Norethindrone is a progestin that is used as an oral contraceptive or hormonal birth control to prevent pregnancy

Progestins prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation (release of the egg), making it more difficult for sperm to penetrate the uterine mucus that surrounds the egg, and therefore, for fertilization to take place. Progestins also change the uterine lining to prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

The FDA approved norethindrone in January, 1973.

What are the side effects of the norethindrone birth control pill?

Common side effects of norethindrone include:

Other possible side effects of norethindrone include:

Possible serious side effects of norethindrone include:

What is the dosage for norethindrone?

  • The recommended dose is one tablet daily at the same time of the day.

Which drugs interact with norethindrone?

A number of medications can decrease the blood levels of norethindrone by increasing its elimination in the liver. Examples of medications that increase the elimination of estrogens include:


Which of the following are methods for contraception? See Answer

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • Oral contraceptives are generally avoided during pregnancy. Use of norethindrone during pregnancy has been associated with masculinization of female infants.
  • Small amounts of progestin pass into breast milk and are detectable in the infant. Use of birth control pills during lactation has been associated with decreased milk production. Norethindrone may be used by breastfeeding women.

What else should I know about norethindrone birth control pill?

What preparations of norethindrone birth control pill are available?
  • Tablets: 0.35 mg
How should I keep norethindrone birth control pill stored?
  • Norethindrone tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).


Norethindrone oral contraceptive is a prescription drug used to prevent pregnancy. Side effects include headache, nausea, dizziness, breast tenderness, irregular vaginal bleeding, acne, fatigue, and weight gain. Oral contraceptives are generally avoided during pregnancy. The use of birth control pills during lactation has been associated with decreased milk production.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Medically Reviewed on 3/17/2023
Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine


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